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Blueberry Coffe Cake via Relishing It

Hello, friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Since we had no prior obligations, we were able do whatever we wanted on Saturday and Sunday.  First up was a visit to one of our favorite summer spots,  Minnehaha Falls.  This beautiful little park in Minneapolis is full of trails, waterfalls, bike paths, and best of all, Sea Salt Eatery.  I really don’t complain much about living in Minnesota, but if I have one gripe (no, not the weather), it’s that we’re so far from the ocean and all of that amazing seafood.  Sea Salt eases the pain a bit.  They offer amazing, fresh seafood.  Stopping in for the ridiculously tasty fish tacos and a catfish po’boy was a great start to the weekend.  It’s the little things like this that make me happy.

Blueberries

Aside from fish tacos, we also ate plenty of this amazing blueberry coffee cake.  I baked this up the night before so we could enjoy the relaxing morning at home while the kids played in the living room.  Coffee cake is one of my favorite things– this one is gorgeous, and so is this one.  Today’s blueberry version is one of my son’s very favorite things that I bake.  He loves it.  The beautiful thing about this cake is that it is just as brilliant with fresh blueberries as it is with frozen.  Which makes it perfect to eat throughout the winter.  When organic frozen blueberries are on sale, I generally stock up for smoothies and this cake.  And blueberry season is just around the corner (thankfully) so, fresh ones aren’t far off!

Blueberry Coffee Cake via Relishing It

As usual, I’ve swapped out the all-purpose flour in this recipe for a whole grain version.  It works well here.  It gives the cake a bit more substance. The lemon zest brings a bit more life to the blueberries and the addition of walnuts to the crumb topping supplies a nice bit of texture to each bite.  I will warn you to keep a close eye on this cake near the end of the baking time.  Be careful not to over-bake it, as it will be a bit more dry than it should be.  When a toothpick inserted into the center comes out crumb-free– it’s done.  It keeps well for days covered with aluminum foil and sitting at room temperature.  Hope this coffee cake becomes a family favorite in your house, too!

Blueberry Coffee Cake via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Blueberry Coffee Cake

(Makes an 8×8 cake)

For the Crumbs:

1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) white whole wheat flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

pinch of kosher salt

1/2 cup toasted walnut halves, chopped

5 tablespoons room temperature butter

For the Cake:

2 cups and 2 teaspoons white whole wheat flour (10 ounces)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

2/3 cup sugar

zest of 2 small organic lemons, or 1 large

6 tablespoons room temperature butter

2 large eggs, at room temperature  (*see note)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup buttermilk  (*see note)

2 cups fresh or frozen organic blueberries (do not thaw)

Note:  It’s important to use room temperature eggs in baked goods.  Eggs at room temperature add more volume to your finished product.  Place your eggs in a bowl of warm water for about 10-15 minutes, they will then be room temperature and ready to use.  Don’t have any buttermilk?  No worries.  Don’t just add regular milk as a substitute, as the baking soda in the cake will only be activated with an acid, therefore leaving you with a flat cake.  To make a 1/2 cup of buttermilk add 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar to 1/2 cup of milk.  Stir and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Prepare a square 8×8 pan with butter.

To make the crumbs:  In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, and salt with a whisk.  Using a fork, mash in the butter.  When it is mostly uniform, gently mix in the walnuts.  Put into the refrigerator until ready to use.

Prepare the blueberries by putting them into a medium bowl and gently tossing them with 2 teaspoons of the flour.  Set aside.

To make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside.  In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and lemon zest by rubbing it together with your fingers.  When it is fragrant and combined, add the butter and beat together with the sugar using the paddle attachment for about 3 minutes on medium speed,  or until it is light and pale in color.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minutes after each one.  Then add the vanilla extract.  The batter may look curdled at this point and that’s ok — it will smooth out.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in two additions.  Starting and ending with the flour.  Be careful not to over mix.  Gently fold in the blueberries using a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out with a rubber spatula.  Add the crumb mixture to the top.  Gently pat the mixture into the batter.  Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool.  Keeps well for days at room temperature covered with aluminum foil.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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And another seasonal food makes it’s first appearance!  This time it’s rhubarb’s turn in the spotlight.  You’ll probably see a similar line here next week with another ingredient–maybe even every week throughout Spring and Summer as I blog.  I can’t help it!  I just get so excited for all of this seasonal gorgeous, vibrant produce.

Rhubarb has been cropping up everwhere around here in the last week.  The first Twin Cities farmers’ markets of the season opened this weekend, so I hauled the family to our favorite one in St. Paul.  It was fun getting a chance to chat with the vendors again after the Winter break.  I’ve found that the first few weeks are a good time to connect with them– to see what they’ll be offering and how the season is shaping up– since they aren’t quite as busy as they’ll be by Summer.  I bought many things, including a bunch of rhubarb.  Even better, a friend was also kind enough to give me a huge bundle.  Perfect.

So what to do with all this rhubarb?  Well, this cake and this crumble are two of my favorite things to make with it.  But I’ve also found the coffee cake that you see in this post.  I love coffee cakes.  They’re perfect for…well…coffee in the afternoon, of course.  They’re also easy to make and stay moist for days.

The rhubarb is obviously the main attraction here.  It adds a notable, though restrained tartness.  The cake is perfectly sweetened.  I used my homemade 1 % yogurt, which was a nice substitute for sour cream.  It kept the cake wonderfully moist, and as a bonus, it has less calories.  The next time I make this one, I’m going to try it with white whole wheat flour to get the benefits of using a whole grain.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  And if you try it that way first, let me know about it.  Enjoy!

The Recipe:  Rhubarb Crunch Coffee Cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup yogurt or sour cream

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1 /2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Rhubarb and Crunch Topping:

2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 /4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon butter, softened

pinch of kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.   Butter an 8-inch square cake pan.

To prepare the Rhubarb and the Crunch Topping: Combine 2 cups of rhubarb with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a small bowl; set aside.  Using a fork, combine 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of butter, and a pinch of kosher salt in a small bowl until crumbly.  Stir in the walnuts; set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift or whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt; set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment, cream together 1 stick of butter and granulated sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each one.  Cream for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add the yogurt and vanilla and mix until combined.  The mixture may look curdled at this point.  That is ok.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until everything is just combined, being careful not to over mix.

Place half of the cake batter into the pan and smooth out.  Sprinkle half of the crunch topping over the batter in the pan.  Dollop the remaining cake batter on top of the crunch topping and smooth out with an offset spatula.  Combine the remaining crunch topping with the rhubarb and pour that mixture evenly on the top of the cake.  Place in the oven and bake for about 55-60 minutes.  Check the center for doneness with a toothpick.  This cake will taste great right away and will be even more moist the following day.  Store covered at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Kitchen Simplicity

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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I hope you all had a lovely Memorial Weekend.  Ours was fun, though not ENTIRELY relaxing– both kids were sick Friday and Saturday– so we didn’t get out as much as we would have liked.  Thankfully, by Sunday all was well and we enjoyed a fantastic barbeque at our friends’ house down the street.  The dodgy weather even complied!  Much of the neighborhood was there, with kids running to-and-fro.  Everyone brought something to share.  I made these beauties and this dish from my friend, Angharad’s blog.  Fantastic!

Today I’m offering you another one of my favorite recipes to try before rhubarb season comes to a close.  (Hopefully you’ll freeze some rhubarb so you can enjoy it throughout the year).  I love coffee cake.  It’s simple and uncomplicated, not fussy, and almost always tastes sublime.  It’s one of those cakes that makes afternoons so much better– brew a pot of French-press coffee and enjoy.  The rhubarb makes this cake very moist, yet it doesn’t become mushy.  Even better, it’s not overly sweet– like many rhubarb dishes can be.  I added orange  zest for a hint of citrus, and topped it with almonds.  Together these three really came together to make a fantastic, delicious flavor.

The Recipe: Rhubarb Coffee Cake

For the Cake:

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup white suger

1/2 cup, butter (at room temperature)

1 cup sour cream (at room temperature, if possible)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon almond extract (vanilla can be substituted)

1 egg (at room temperature)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Zest from 1-2 large oranges

1 cup whole wheat flour  (If you don’t have whole wheat flour, all-purpose can be substituted)

1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more to coat the rhubarb

3 cups diced rhubarb

For the Crumb Topping:

1/2 brown sugar

1/4 cup butter (at room temperature)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare a springform pan by buttering it, placing parchment paper on the bottom, buttering the parchment paper, then flouring. Shake out excess flour.  (Note: a 9×9 square pan can also be used)

To make the topping:  Mix the sugar, butter, and cinnamon together using a fork.  Then gently add the 1/4 cup of almonds.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, toss the diced rhubarb with a little bit of flour so it is evenly coated.  Do not mix the excess flour into the cake.  This will prevent the rhubarb from falling to the bottom of the cake.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugars and butter until creamy, 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the egg.  Next,  add the sour cream, almond extract, and orange zest and combine until just mixed.  Add the flour mixture and blend until just mixed (over-mixing any cake when the flour is added will yield a very tough cake).  Next,  fold the rhubarb into the cake using a rubber spatula.  Pour into prepared pan, making sure it is even.  Sprinkle the topping on top of the cake (I found that using my fingers worked the best).  Then finish with the remaining sliced almonds.  Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cake cool completely in pan on a cooling rack.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Cakes and Frostings with Schmecks Appeal by Edna Staebler

Thanks for stopping by Relish It today!

Laurie

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